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Taejongdae and the Danubi Train in Busan Guide

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Taejongdae is one of the best known seaside and geoparks in Busan, located at the south-end of Yeongdo Island.

As with most Busan coastal trails, Taejongdae offers incredible panoramic views of the ocean. On a clear day, you can see as far as Tsushima Island.

Taejongdae has a plethora of paths along the coast to explore plus the famed Yeongdo Lighthouse and sculpture.

Taejongdae Busan

The best (and most fun) way to get around Taejongdae is to take the brightly coloured Danubi Train, which departs every 20 minutes or so.

There are lots of things to see at Taejongdae, from ocean observation decks to incredible seaward sculptures plus lighthouses, seafood and more.

From the Danubi Train schedule and price to the best vantage points, here is our guide to visiting Taejongdae and taking the Danubi Train in Busan:

Danubi Train Taejongdae Busan
Danubi Train

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How to get to Taejongdae and the Danubi Train

To get to Taejongdae, take the Busan Metro (line 1) to Nampo Station and alight via exit number 6.

From here, take bus number 8, 30, 66, 88 or 186 and alight at the Taejongdae stop.

You can use money to buy your bus tickets to Taejongdae but we’d recommend getting a T-money card from a station or convenience store and topping it up.

T-money cards initially cost 5,000 Korean Won but last indefinitely and are very convenient to hop on and off public transport in Busan and South Korea. Read more about T-money cards in our guide >

Hop-on hop-off Busan City Tour Bus

Alternatively another way to get to Taejongdae from Busan Station is to use the hop-on hop-off Busan City Tour Bus green line route and alight at stop 6.

This is how we arrived at Taejongdae, as we had used a Visit Busan Pass which includes the Busan City Tour Bus as one of the 30+ included activities.

Once you arrive at Taejongdae, follow the directional signs and walk up the hill for about two minutes until you see the Busan Danubi Train stop – this is where you start your journey to Taejongdae either on foot or via the train.

Taejongdae Busan

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The history of Taejongdae

Busan Taejongdae is a nationally famous geopark located on the southernmost tip of Yeongdo Island.

It is said that King of Silla, Taejong Mu-Yeol enjoyed refining his archery skills and so it was titled in his name.

Another story is when a great drought took place in 1419, King Taejong made it rain here so whenever there was another drought, prayers and rituals would be performed at Taejongdae to encourage rain.

Nowadays, due to its incredible panoramic views and views of the coast and turquoise ocean, Taejondae is now one of the most popular things to do in Busan.

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How to buy Danubi Train Tickets / getting around Taejongdae

Most people get around Taejongdae by taking the small train that follows a circular coastal road.

Taejongdae and the Danubi Train in Busan

Danubi Train tickets can be purchased from the outdoor ticket booth at the left hand corner of the train terminus (also known as the Square). Tickets cannot be purchased on the train.

One way tickets or rotation tickets (complete journey) can be purchased from the ticket desk; in this area, you’ll also find a tourist information booth, toilets, a convenience store and several hot food places.

Danubi means ‘criss-cross’ in Korean and the train is basically a colourful motorised wagon with three or four compartments.

Once you have bought a Danubi train ticket, you are given a train number / time and you must depart on that particular train.

For instance, the family in front of us decided to wait for a later train but were told they had to get a new number as their train had already departed.

Taejongdae and the Danubi Train in Busan
Taejongdae and the Danubi Train in Busan
Taejongdae and the Danubi Train in Busan

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How much is the Danubi Train in Busan?

The Taejongdae Park Danubi Train costs 2,000 Won one way per adult (around £1.20 / $1.50 USD) or 4,000 Korean Won for the complete round trip.

The youth rate for the train is 2,000 Won and 1,500 Won – these Danubi Train prices in Busan are correct as of January 2024.

You can also receive a 25% Danubi Train Discount if you arrive via the Busan City Tour Bus (BUTI) – adult fares are 3,000 Won instead of 4,000 Won if you show your Busan City Tour Bus wristband or ticket.

CK Travels tip – the Danubi Train is also ‘free’ if you use as part of the Visit Busan Pass – read about experience using the Visit Busan Pass >

Taejongdae and the Danubi Train in Busan

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How long is the Taejongdae Danubi Train route?

The Danubi Train circular route is a 4.3km roadway that has four stops:

1 – The Square / Danubi Train terminus (this is where the train starts and finishes)
2 – Taejongdae Observatory
3 – Yeongdo Lighthouse
4 – Taejongsa Temple

Yeongdo Lighthouse train stop

Looking for cheap Busan day-trips, attractions or group/private tours? We recommend visiting Viator, GetYourGuide, and Klook!

Danubi Train schedule operating hours in Busan

The Danubi Train is open from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays) and starts from 9am.

During peak season (June to August), the Danubi Train schedule is from 9am to 7:30pm.

During the off-peak season (September to May), the Danubi Train operates from 9am to 5:30pm.

Ticket sales start at 9am with the first Danubi Train departure of the day at 9:20am. All times correct as of January 2024.

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Exploring Taejongdae

There are several key places to visit whilst exploring Taejongdae:

Taejongdae Observatory

This is a man-made concrete structure that is free to visit with unspoilt views of the ocean and the nearby islands – Jujeonja Island, Oryukdo Island and Geoje Island.

Taejongdae Observatory Busan

On a clear day, you can even see the far off Tsushima Island on a clear day. Look down and you’ll also see fisherman perilously hanging off the side of the cliff fishing or on isolated islands below – quite the spectacle!

The viewing platform doubles as a space to eat food from the convenience store, plus there is an Taejongdae observatory canteen, Cafe Blue Bean (on the third floor) and toilets.

Taejongdae Observatory Busan
Taejongdae Observatory Busan
Convenience store

To be honest, we thought the Taejongdae Observatory was a concrete carbuncle that was underutilised. They could do so much more with the space.

However, it is still worth dropping by for a minute or two before heading onto the lighthouse 200 metres away – it is also the last place to stock up on cold drinks etc.

Taejongdae Observatory Busan
Convenience store

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Yeongdo Lighthouse

A short two minute walk from Taejongdae Observatory brings you to the highlight of the area; Yeongdo Lighthouse and the famous ‘Light Beyond Limitation’ sculpture (as seen on thousands of Instagram posts and tourist brochures).

Yeongdo Lighthouse Busan
Yeongdo Lighthouse Busan Mermaid statue

The Yeongdo Lighthouse at Taejongdae is located about a three minute walk (via fairly steep boardwalks) from the circular road up top.

The Yeongdo Lighthouse is open to the public and there is a viewing deck at the top.

This is a great spot to see the big cargo ships pass by in the ocean, the nearby islands plus look down on the Taejongdae seafood stalls set up on the rocks below by local Korean stallholders.

We haven’t tried the Taejongdae seafood here ourselves but we hear it is delicious and served in the most unique oceanside setting.

On the way down, check out the ‘Spirit of the Ocean’ viewing platform, which is best described as a ‘Seaman’s Hall of Fame’ with large bronze busts that depict pioneers and protectors of the sea; a moving tribute to the local maritime history of the area.

Yeongdo Lighthouse Busan Seaman’s Hall of Fame Spirit of the Ocean’ viewing platform
Yeongdo Lighthouse Busan Seaman’s Hall of Fame Spirit of the Ocean’ viewing platform
Yeongdo Lighthouse Busan Seaman’s Hall of Fame Spirit of the Ocean’ viewing platform
Yeongdo Lighthouse Busan map

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“Light Beyond Limitation” Taejongdae Sculpture

Here is also where you’ll see the famous “Light Beyond Limitation” statue by Ji Sul Won Kyung Lee unveiled in 2003.

You may well have seen this on social media before visiting Busan (a giant red and blue ring sculpture against an ocean backdrop) and the Yeongdo Lighthouse.

“Light Beyond Limitation” Taejongdae Sculpture Busan

As the plaque next to it details, ‘Light Beyond Limitation’ represents the ‘totality of the relationship between nature and the model.

The blue circle represents the sea and the sky whilst the red circle symbolises the sun and flowers; the bar in the middle evokes the light from the lighthouse.

“Light Beyond Limitation” Taejongdae Sculpture Busan
“Light Beyond Limitation” Taejongdae Sculpture Busan

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Taejongonsa Temple

The last major stop on the Danubi Train at Taejongdae, the Taejongonsa Temple is a sacred place where a piece of Buddha’s crystal relic is reputedly kept – the Sansikgak Hall here is a popular photospot.

The best time to visit Taejongonsa Temple on Taejongdae is in June and July, when over 3,000 hydrangea trees bloom into life, across 10 different species.

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Other things to do at Taejongdae

These other stops and viewpoints can be accessed as part of the walk around Taejongdae but are not served by the Danubi Train:

Taewon Pebble Beach

Down a steep boardwalk, you’ll discover this pebble beach with curiously shaped rocks and incredible views.

SouthPort Viewing Point

The best place to enjoy a panoramic view of Busan’s South Port, the busiest harbour in the area – this is a popular viewing spot particularly at sunset and to see Busan by night.

Sinseonbawi / Mangbuseok Rock

Said to be the home of mythical ocean hermits who lived here and enjoyed the views, this is a place to enjoy the horizon and ocean views with strange rock formations.

Mangbuseok Rock is said to have been a sobbing wife who turned into stone, waiting for her husband to return, who had been taken away by pirates. This is also a great viewpoint to see Tsushima Island on a calm, clear day.

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How much is Taejongdae to visit?

All of the main attractions at Taejongdae are free to visit including the Taejongdae Observatory and the famous ‘Light Beyond Limitation’ sculpture.

It is free to walk the Taejongdae 4km coastal path but there is a 4,000 KRW round trip fee for the optional Danubi Train.

Parking at Taejongdae starts from 1,000 Won per hour for a small vehicle (less than 15 people) plus an extra 200 Won per additional 10 minutes.

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Taejongdae – Taking the Danubi Train vs walking

Is the Danubi Train worth it? The whole route / walking path around Taejongdae is only about 4 km so it is easily walkable (quite flat too).

Whilst some parts of the route do have epic scenery, much of it has obscured views and the walk can be quite samey between the Taejongsa temple and the Danubi Train station.

As such (and if you are on a tight schedule), we’d definitely recommend taking the Danubi Train over tackling the whole Taejongdae cape by foot – it is very frequent and inexpensive.

We’d recommend getting off the Danubi Train at the Taejongdae Observatory, exploring that for a few minutes then walking to the Yeongdo lighthouse on the road before jumping back on the Danubi Train to the start.

This is very much an easy way to explore one of Busan’s most epic ocean routes and coastal attractions.

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